Rigid Heddle Workshop – Threadbender’s Guild
Rigid Heddle Workshop ReportOctober 1st & 2nd 2022
Threadbender’s Guild of Union and Baker Counties in Eastern Oregon wish to thank WeGO for the help sponsoring our Rigid Heddle Workshop given by Patty Huffer on October 1st and 2nd at Cook Memorial Library in La Grande, OR. We had been anxiously waiting for over 2 years to learn about the Rigid Heddle and it was definitely worth the wait.We had 8 participants, over the suggested limit of 6 because we had such a large facility. There were three new beginning beginners who had never used a Rigid Heddle loom before, let alone woven anything except paper placemats in kindergarten, the rest were self-taught active weavers who wished to learn more advanced techniques about the amazingly versatile Rigid Heddle.The instructor, Patty Huffer, was prepared for us at all levels. Her handouts were simple and easy to understand and yet there were some advanced techniques for those that were ready and she demonstrated them for us. Before starting, Patty moved around the room checking every loom, adjusting them as needed and making sure everyone was ready to roll. After her introduction, which included a demonstration of how Rigid Heddles can use a warping board for efficiency, we dove right in to warping our looms. Right away we were hooked on the expediency and ease of warping our Rigid Heddles. As the class progressed, Patty gave both whole group and individual lessons and demonstrations as needed. When our advanced weavers were weaving, she was able to concentrate on our beginners. What was truly amazing to our new weavers, was that they were able to keep up with everyone else in the class and produce products just as well woven as the rest of the participants. What a sense of accomplishment and pride they were given from Patty’s expert help! She answered all questions with the same amount of importance and respect, giving answers that went beyond our expectations, filling us with knowledge we were thrilled to receive. There were quite a few epiphanies. Whenever there was a problem, she gathered everyone around for “Teachable Moments” that were taken back to individual looms where they were used by each weaver as needed. That process saved time for the weavers and the instructor. We all wove a beautiful scarf the first day, with Patty instructing us on finishing techniques and washing instructions. We then warped our looms a second time, in order to put the skill into our long term memories, to weave rag mug rugs, which require different techniques to weave and finish. Everyone happily took home their warped looms to complete the second project.Because of Patty’s skill as an instructor, we have three new weavers in our Threadbender’s Weaving Guild that are extremely motivated, enthusiastic and ready to weave. We are all hooked on using our Rigid Heddles more often – we can complete a marvelous project in a day! Even our advanced weavers had smiles and tired minds at the end of the workshop on Sunday. This workshop was such a success and was just what Threadbenders needed as a foundation to recruit new members and support more advanced weavers. Patty Huffer was the perfect instructor for the job!This type of supportive workshop was definitely a valuable and inspiring experience that should be done again.Respectfully,Lisa R BushmanPresident of Threadbenders Weaving GuildWeGO Representative
Mathemagical Design and Geometry in Textiles (Zoom Presentation)
As a forgetful person who doesn’t particularly care for Zoom, I had not previously managed to attend any of the virtual meetings and presentations this winter. I am glad I managed to get my act together for this one! I had a general idea of what the Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci Sequence were, and how they could be used in design, Jennifer explained not only the fascinating history of each, but also how they are mathematically related. Later she moved into tessellations and fractals as well. The myriad examples shown in her slides were both varied and illustrative of her points. There were baskets and weaving, and even a few other art forms. The slides ranged from her own contemporary uses of the concepts in her brilliant double weaves to items from around the world and through time. One advantage to watching from home, is there is no need to crane your neck to see around others to the slides! Jennifer’s warm personality case through and she seemed quite at ease with the format. While there is much I miss about live presentations, I thought this was quite fun really, and just as informative. In fact, it was probably easier for me to focus without the distractions of other actual humans around. Also, I appreciated that she allow EWG to record the session so that people who actually work on a Monday morning could see it as well, for a change. I am definitely going to make an effort to remember to attend the next one.
Great Weave Structure for Color and Weave with Robyn Spady (Zoom Presentation)
We learned a number of ways to incorporate interesting novelty yarns into our weaving. Robyn showed us weave structures and woven pieces using various yarns to embellish the cloth. There were examples of designer fabrics, Chanel in particular, which use novelty yarns to her advantage. Robin was an inspiring presenter. Highlights of her presentation were available on line for 2 weeks for members.
Swedish Art Weaves Workshop with Joanne Hall
At the Fall WeGO meeting in Astoria, 2019, our guild, RVHG was one of several other guilds to have the luck of the draw for the $500 WeGO scholarship.
Our guild already had plans to hold a Swedish Arts Weaves workshop with Joanne Hall at some point during 2020, and getting the scholarship was perfect timing.
We contacted our neighboring guild – Saturday Handweavers – and we agreed to hold back-to-back workshops with Joanne if she was available. We contacted Joanne and found out that she had enough time in her schedule to do the six days of workshops (3 for each guild) in October of 2020.
Then COVID hit……
The October workshop had to be postponed, and Joanne decided that a full year would be long enough. Our workshop was held on October 18-20, 2021, and we still had to wear masks! Who would have thought it back in 2019?
The workshop was attended by 16 people, two of them from around Santa Cruz, CA, and three from Klamath Falls Spinners and Weavers. Joanne sent each of us a pre-wound warp and we prepared our own looms ahead of the workshop so we could jump right in to her instructions. The pace was fast, but Joanne was very patient with anyone needing extra instruction and /or time.
Joanne provided us with some necessary tools to work with the wool creating the Swedish weave structures. She made a long pick-up stick for each of us, as well as letting us use her set of quills for small amounts of the Faro wool used in the patterns. We borrowed her small boat shuttles that worked well with our sometimes-smaller sheds, and she showed us how (and gave the materials needed) to make half heddles on dowels to use as supplementary shafts. Her Handouts were very good, and we all had fun.
Several of the attendees were able to take their weaving sample off of their loom by the end of the workshop, but many of us will bring our workshop-warped table looms to our November guild meeting to show the members what we have accomplished and invite them to try a few picks and see what it’s all about.
Our workshop included: Rolakan (tapestry), Dukagang, Halvkrabba and Krabba (laid-in weaves) and Munkabalt (monk’s belt).
Joanne’s instructional fees were $450/day, @3 days = $1350
Transportation costs were split with our neighboring guild, SHG = $250
Here is a snippet of Joanne’s Bio from the Glimakra website:
For most of her weaving years Joanne has been interested in Swedish weaving. Her interest comes from her Swedish heritage as well as a respect for the high quality of weaving in Sweden. A workshop from Hans Krondahl, a Swedish art professor who wove commission tapestries inspired her in the early years.
After eight trips to Sweden, a[ending four weaving conferences in Sweden, taking weaving and language classes, touring Swedish weaving factories and shops and meeting many Swedish weavers, Joanne enjoys teaching Swedish weaving techniques.
Twills and Parallel Twills – A virtual presentation by Robyn Spady
18 guild members participated
This workshop began with an overview of twills so that all weavers present – beginners, intermediate,
and advanced – would be on the same page as the presentation proceeded to the more complex subject
of parallel twills.
Basic twill information included a review of:
Difference between plain weave, twills, and satin weave structures;
Straight, point, extended point, and broken twill;
Balanced and unbalanced twills, advancing twills;
Defined by diagonal lines which can lean left, right, or a combination; and
Requirement of three shafts for twills.
A short break was taken, then the presentation continued with Parallel Twills, Echo Weave, and
Robyn explained that these techniques begin with a single threading that is then integrated with
another threading. Other terms that refer to this process are “double drafting”, “parallel” threading,
“manifold” drafting, and “interleaved” threading. Apparently, weavers have many words for the same
These techniques require a close sett and threading can be cumbersome. The advantage is that only one
shuttle is needed for weaving a complex-looking textile. This is especially true when a color sequence is
added, which is usually the case. A short overview of using the color wheel to choose colors for this
technique. Robyn used Fiberworks to show drafts, color changes, tie-ups, and treadling.
A 24-page handout was sent to all participants after the informative presentation.
Columbia Fibre Guild – Judith MacKenzie Lecture
When early man learned to make thread, it allow him to move out of the cave. The cave as the best protection from the elements before that time. When threads were combined they were strong enough to make rope and nets. The nets made fishing possible and the rope slashed leaves and branches together to make shelters away from caves. Spun fibers and weaving made sails possible.
Fibers to not survive when buried, but the tools to make the fibers do. Spindles, whorls, stones with holes in them for spinning, are found over the world. They are all alike. The principle is basic and each culture developed their own, but all are indistinguishable from one another.
The northwest coast has no dye culture for fibers. It has no clay soils to make pots necessary to use dyes.
Dogs were bred for their fiber. The early ones were called “wool dogs. Vegetable fibers were first used for spinning: milkweed, bear grass, all long fiber grasses and celery. Animal fibers, came later. Pliny the elder listed 2,500 types of fiber, but only four will go on being used in the future, because they are so good: two vegetable – cotton and flax; and two animal: wool and silk.
Leg spinning was used before tools were developed.
Notes by Linda Frizzell – Columbia Fibre Guild
Rogue Valley Handweavers Guild – Rep Weave Workshop
Humbug Weavers and Spinners Guild – Split Shed Workshop
Deborah Silver Workshop, Humbug Weavers and Spinners Guild, February 16, 2019 HUMBUG GUILD SPLIT SHED WORKSHOP FEB 16, 2019
By Carol Hacherl
The Humbug Guild enjoyed a workshop on Saturday on Feb 16 with weaving instructor Deborah Silver, who travelled to teach us from Cleveland, Ohio.
Deborah taught us her split-shed technique. Deborah works with only 4 shafts, yet her approach allows a weaver to create fairly complex image on a woven piece. To do this, pattern sheds are split (i.e. some shafts are raised only halfway, creating two mini-sheds). Weavers use a not-too-heavily loaded stick shuttle as they selectively “pick up” warp threads on each pattern weft shot, following a cartoon to “paint” the design.
Deborah has done an extensive investigation of split-shed weaving, and has figured out how to use the technique with a wide variety of weave structures. She shared her weaving journey through photos and a selection of lovely hands-on samples of her work. Deborah will be pulling this together into a book on her technique. (I can’t wait!)
For our workshop, we used a weave technique called “Beiderwand” – Deborah described the structure as “similar to summer and winter, but with 5-end floats instead of 3-end.” Deborah provided line drawings and guided us through creating and attaching a cartoon to each of our looms. (That in itself is a great new skill to have!)
To weave, we followed Deborah’s treadling / shaft lifting plan. On pattern (split) sheds, we used shuttles of thick rug weft in two colors. We followed our cartoons to “pick up” warp threads, choosing between the upper and lower halves of the split shed per the design. We alternated pattern sheds with plain weave (tabby) sheds, and the tabby weft formed the background for our designs.
Deborah also showed us how to weave a design in Bronson lace using the same threading. For Bronson, we wove with weft yarn that matched our warp and a used different treadling sequence. This time, threads picked up from the split shed wove Bronson lace in the pattern areas, while plain weave was woven in the background – a nice design for a window hanging.
Deborah was a delightful instructor! She was warm and engaging. She was highly knowledgeable about her material, her explanations were very clear, and her handouts were thorough. (I appreciate how the handout makes it easy to reflect on and retain what we learned in that busy day.) The workshop had plenty of content to challenge experienced weavers, and yet less experienced weavers were able to participate and gain skills as well.
Deborah Silver Workshop, Humbug Weavers and Spinners Guild, February 16, 2019
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Beginning Weaving Workshop – Threadbenders Guild
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Linen & Lace Workshop – Clatsop Guild
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COSW – Double Weave Workshop
COSW – Crackle Workshop
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Heather Winslow Workshops for 2015
Clatsop Spinners & Weavers Silk Spinning Workshop
COSW – Temari Balls & Bow Weaving Workshops